An old mule track climbs up to Crocicchio, where it meets the SP 11 for Casina, the eighteenth-century Via Ducale leading to the Lunigiana region.
In this last stretch the SM crosses path 656 that leads north-east to the nearby parish church of S. Bartolomeo in Pavullo, among the oldest in the area, while travelling south-west it takes you first to Cortogno, a very busy village linked to the Sarzano feud.
The trail then continues along path 650, with walkways crossing the stream in the Tasobbio valley, once known as the ‘valley of the mills’ as these hydraulic works were once abundant but have since been abandoned.
From Crocicchio the SM follows the asphalted road around a few bends and then forks right onto a dirt road; you cross the provincial road leading to the village of Monchio dei Ferri, or Monchio di Sarzano, home to the imposing rural fortification of the Corte dei Rossi, with two fine tower-houses and a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Ghiara. The route continues on dirt roads and mule tracks passing nearby the hamlet of Il Ponte up to Madonna del Carrobbio.
After crossing the provincial road, a short climb takes you to the castle of Sarzano. On the left path 650A descends to Tassobbio where it joins the 650. From Sarzano this stage of the trail ends on a scenic path that leads to Casina (REST POINT).
In 1116 Casina was listed among properties belonging to the Abbey of San Apollonio di Canossa.
The trail descends rapidly, crossing the provincial road (hazard) and then crossing path 650 for Cortogno on the left. After passing the cemetery on your left you travel along Via Carrobbio to the square of the town hall.
In 1931, psychiatrist Dr. Maria Bertolani del Rio began collecting designs and inspiration for medieval friezes from the monuments of Reggio Emilia that could be reproduced on textiles, ceramics, metal and leather by psychiatric patients at the San Lazzaro hospital of Reggio Emilia, thereby using manual activities for therapeutic purposes. This gave rise to a particular form of artwork now kept alive by artisans belonging to the Ars Canusina Consortium, under the leadership of the Municipality of Casina that owns this brand name – www.consorzioarscanusina.it.
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